When Emotions Go Wrong
It is well-known Italians are an emotional bunch, and generally a pleasantly emotional one; but what happened in Italy during the weekend is truly beyond the pale.
No less than a priest apparently dared to burn a photography of, no less, the former Pope.
In church. During the Homily.
The man (I do not know how long he will be active as a priest; perhaps at 67 he is simply looking for a way to be pensioned) is, we are told, incensed at Pope Benedict’s abdication; so much so that he compared the Pontiff Emeritus to Mr Schettino, the man in charge of the Costa Concordia and all too ready to abandon ship when the going got very, very rough. Though one wonders whether he burned in church Schettino’s effigy, too…
I must first remark that I thought that in every criticism of a Pope (or former one) one remains within the boundary of elementary decency; if not out of respect for the man, certainly out of respect for the office. That a priest of all people should recur to methods fitting for Muslim fanatics is truly more than we should ever be forced to hear.
Secondly, I cannot avoid noticing that in this day and age the suspicion is justified such stunts are put in place to attract the attention of the media, as noone in his right mind can think he can do such a thing and escape publicity. The least offensive comment that can be made is that the pulpit is evidently not enough for the unfortunate man.
The third reflection is that I have the suspicion such senseless hatred is the result of pent-up aggression towards the Church, grown to the point of fanaticism and which finds, one day, an escape valve in a broadly unrelated event, taken as excuse. This priest can’t be normal, or feel good within the Church. On the contrary, this looks like one who has a huge gripe against his tunic, and looks for a scapegoat and for a convenient (for the publicity) outlet for his rage. A normal priest might, in case, well be angry, or critical, or ironic, or even slightly sarcastic. But this is really too much.
Being this the nuChurch of Vatican II, the bishop was apparently told to “mind his own business” after criticising his rather emotional subordinate.
I do not know the age of the bishop of Ventimiglia, but I hope he never becomes Pope. Then in such a case we’d be in huge trouble.